Baztab News


14 Jul 2018 National Radio TV of Afghanistan

Viber is a cross-platform instant messaging and voice over IP (VoIP) application operated by Japanese multinational company Rakuten, provided as freeware for the Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS platforms. It requires a telephone computer[clarification needed] to operate. In addition to instant messaging it allows users to exchange media such as images and videorecords. As of December 2016, Viber had 800 million registered users.[5] The software was originally developed by Israel-based Viber Media, which was bought by Rakuten in 2014. Since 2017 its corporate name has been Rakuten Viber. It is currently based in Luxembourg.[6]

Company history[edit]

Viber Media was founded in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2010 by Talmon Marco[7] and Igor Magazinnik, who are friends from the Israel Defense Forces where they were chief information officers.[8] Marco and Magazinnik are also co-founders of the P2P media and file-sharing client iMesh.[9] The company was run from Israel, with much of its development outsourced to Belarus in order to lower labor-costs.[8] It was registered in Cyprus. Sani Maroli and Ofer Smocha soon joined the company as well.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

In its first two years of availability, Viber did not generate revenues. It began doing so in 2013, via user payments for Viber Out voice calling and the Viber graphical messaging “sticker store”. The company was originally funded by individual investors, described by Marco as “friends and family”.[16] They invested $20 million in the company, which had 120 employees as of May 2013.[17]

On July 24, 2013, Viber’s support system was defaced by the Syrian Electronic Army. According to Viber, no sensitive user information was accessed.[18]

On February 13, 2014, Rakuten announced they had acquired Viber Media for $900 million.[19] The sale of Viber earned the Shabtai family (Benny, his brother Gilad, and Gilad’s son Ofer) some $500 million from their 55.2% stake in the company.[20][21] At that sale price, the founders each realized over 30 times return on their investments.[11]

Djamel Agaoua became Viber Media CEO in February 2017, replacing co-founder Marco who left in 2015.[22]

In July 2017 the corporate name of Viber Media was changed to Rakuten Viber and a new wordmark logo was introduced.[23] Its legal name remains Viber Media, S.à r.l. based in Luxembourg.

Former Viber logo until July 2017


Viber was initially launched for iPhone on December 2, 2010, in direct competition with Skype. It was launched on the Android platform on July 19, 2012, followed by BlackBerry and Windows Phone on May 8, 2012,[24] and Nokia’s Series 40, Symbian and Samsung’s Badaplatform on July 24, 2012, by which time the application had 90 million users.[25][26][27]

In July 2013, a desktop version for Windows and macOS was announced.[28] In August 2013, Viber for Linux was released as a public beta[29] and in August 2014 a final version.[30] In June 2016 a UWP-based desktop application for Windows 10 was released in the Windows Store.[31] Viber is one of the more popular messenger applications in Russia.[32][33]

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